The highlights of summer 2022 for me were the performances I got to see in St. Louis and Winston-Salem, North Carolina, of The BOX, the play on solitary confinement by our grantee Sarah Shourd that made an indelible impression in each of the 10 cities lucky enough to be part of the End of Isolation Tour.
That several members of this cast drew from their own experiences inside prison no doubt contributes to the heightened authenticity of every scene. It's not just the hard-earned empathy, however, that makes The BOX an essential theater experience. It's also the fierce commitment of every actor to make us see that the people we have discarded into a broken, awful system are as fully-fledged individuals as you and I.
Performances across the country have left audiences stunned, with the sense of having seen firsthand the raw brutality of solitary confinement and with the aching, gut-level comprehension of our complicity in a system that dehumanizes tens of thousands of individuals.
The BOX tour was part of another eventful quarter for the Pulitzer Center—from memorable reporting on issues of Indigenous rights, to continuing coverage of the war in Ukraine, and nearly 70 engagements at the K-12 and university levels in the United States and across the globe, among them a presentation of our “Spider-Man” of Sudan project to students at Northwestern University in Qatar (NUQ).
Much more in our just-released Q3 report! Please take a look—and join us in bringing the issues that matter to the broadest possible public. Wendy Blackwell Fortune, an audience member at the Baltimore performance of The BOX, may have put it best: “Now that we know, what do we do?” she wrote. “No one left as they entered. The heartbreak was collective.”
Two Pulitzer Center-supported documentaries recently won Emmy Awards.
The Outlaw Ocean Project, a journalism nonprofit, won an Emmy for "Get Away from the Target" — Rescuing Migrants from the Libyan Coast Guard, part of the Pulitzer Center-supported project Migrants Seeking Amnesty Blocked in Libyan Waters, by grantee Ian Urbina. Featured on The Guardian website and other global outlets, the film documents the human rights abuses faced by migrants as they cross the Mediterranean Sea. Watch "Get Away from the Target" here.
Reeducated, by grantees Sam Wolson and Ben Mauk for The New Yorker, also won an Emmy. The film is part of the Pulitzer Center-supported project Survival in Xinjiang. Through an innovative format of virtual reality made from survivor sketches, satellite photos, and hand-drawn animation, the film reconstructs the Xinjiang “reëducation” camps, which have imprisoned as many as 1 million people. This was The New Yorker’s first Emmy. Watch Reeducated here.
This message first appeared in the September 30, 2022, edition of the Pulitzer Center's weekly newsletter. Subscribe today.
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